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“Worth a visit”
Review of Colca Canyon

Colca Canyon
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$94.00*
and up
Colca Canyon Full -Day Tour from Arequipa
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$50.00*
and up
Colca Canyon Day Trip from Arequipa
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$35.00*
and up
Full Day Trip to Colca Canyon from Arequipa
Ranked #2 of 102 things to do in Arequipa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: One of the deepest canyon in the world is more than 13,100 feet.. Here you can practice: rafting, trekking, mountain biking, vivencial tourism.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Golden, Colorado
Level 6 Contributor
144 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
“Worth a visit”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I was short on time so I booked the standard 2 day tour of Colca Canyon with a tour agency right off the main plaza. For 60 soles, we got a night loding in Chivay and a tour bus/guide for 2 days. I did have to pay for my own tourist ticket (35 soles) at a checkpoint right outside the town of Chivay. During the 2 days, we stopped at many points along the way to take pictures of the mountains, saw the vicunas (similar to alpacas), and saw the condors soaring above the canyon at Cruz del condor. Both days the tour bus stopped at a restaurant where they had a buffet lunch set up for us but for 20 soles/person. The food was good and we were kind of stuck doing it but it was a bit pricey for a meal in Peru of this quality (and annoying that we really had no choice since the bus stopped at this restaurant outside of town one day with no other places to eat in sight).

Visited July 2012
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2 Thank el_cap
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Don't miss this experience”
Reviewed October 20, 2012

I'm currently staying in Arequipa with my fiance (Joel) and we decided last week to take a two day tour to the Colca Canyon (about 4 miles from Arequipa). The Colca Canyon is the second deepest in the workd, so I was expecting some amazing scenery (and I wasn't disappointed), but it was the added extra's that surprised me...

We Left Arequipa early in the morning, and were taken to a little shop just outside of the city, where we were advised to buy some coca leaves to chew (for the altitude sickness). Its not illegal so don't worry, in fact it kind of tastes like Tea, and it works wonders for the altitude sickness, i didn't feel a thing, and in the past I have suffered badly.

We made our way to the small village of Chivay where we would be stopping over night. On the journey we stopped to see Alpaca's and Lama's, we stopped at the highest point of our Journey (5000) where there is a sort of shrine to the Volcano's. We stopped along the road where women and children in tradition clothes were selling handmade gifts and wearing the local clothing.

Arriving in the village of Chivay we were shown to a local restaurant, it was 25 soles (roughly £5) each for an all you can eat buffet. Now, I don't know what your past impressions of an all you can eat buffet have been, but there not all together the best food. This restaurant however was lovely, it was decorated traditionally, there was live music and the food was fresh and local.

After filling ourselves up, it was time to head to our hotels, Our tour operator gave us a choice of three hotels, each slightly more expensive than the other. We went with the cheapest one (as we were on a tight budget). The hotel was basic, I can 't really deny that. There is no Kettle, or anything plush like that so don't get your hopes up, it was basic, but it was clean and safe, with a private bathroom. The only down side was that is was cold, very cold at night...so take extra layers. The location of our hotel (which was called Casa De Lucilla) was fantastic, it was right in the center of the town which was great. Round the corner was a local market where I brought some traditional hand made clothes, and there is a cash machine if you need to take out extra money.
Our tour guide picked us up an hour later, and took us up to the 'hot springs', this is not included in the price of the tour, but it isn't expensive and its incredible. The springs are from the water of the volcano, it comes out over 80 degrees, and needs to be cooled down to bathe in. The water is high in sulfer, so it's good for a lot of medical conditions (but this also means is smells a bit weird). Its so relaxing to bathe outside, at the base of a volcano, in natural hot springs...don't miss it.

After that we were taken to another Peruvian restaurant, which great local dancing and music. Then we headed home for an early night, as we went the next day to the Canyon at 6am.

Remember to take warm clothes, because the Colca Valley and the villages in it, are in high altitude (and its very very cold in the morning!). We went up to the canyon, stopping in the villahes of Yanque and Maca, to be told the history of the locals, and the church.

Then we arrives at the Colca, we chose to take a small trek (one hour) but you don't need to if you don't want. At first we didn't see any condors, but as we came round the corner, there were eight or nine of them swooping low over our heads!

After that we slowly headed back to Arequipa, learning more about the history of the different places.

There are so many tours in Arequipa offering trips to the Colca Canyon, I don't think it really matters which one you go with, as they are all similar. But do go with one! Its an amazing experience, breath taking scenery, and very interesting too! It is only one night and two days, but it is tiring and you wont find luxury hotels. What you will find is a local paradise and unique places. Take your camera and make sure it has full battery...this is a never ending photo opportunity.

Visited October 2012
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Thank Faith M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
County Donegal, Ireland
Level 5 Contributor
37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Stunning but somewhat challenging”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

The colca canyon is well worth a visit but it would help if you were fit and have done some previous trekking. It is the 2nd deepest canyon in the world and altitude is also a big factor. If you are looking for 5 star luxury you wont find it here (thankfully), if you want to experience nature in its most unspoilt, undeveloped form it's for you. It is the experience of a lifetime.

Best tip:
Go to the street off the main plaza in Arequipa and find the cheapest company possible. The reason being is that all the tour companies offer you literally the exact same tour at very different prices.
In our group we paid 130soles each while others paid varying and much more expensive prices for 'luxury' experiences. In the end we all shared the exact same transport, guide, basic accommodation, food and itinerary.

What most tours offer:
All meals except for lunch on the last day. (Optional at 25soles).
A visit to the condor cross (fantastic).
Accommodation in basic rooms. (There is no electricity on the 2nd night in the oasis, but remember that you are in a canyon and the experience is unforgettable).
Transport
Guide
Volcano viewing point
Some village stops
Llampa and alpaca viewing stop

Not included in most tour costs;
The entrance fee to the canyon; 70soles (obligatory).
Hot springs on day 3: 15 soles (optional).
Water which is expensive.

What you might not think of bringing;
A torch (no electricity on day 2).
Toilet roll (not standard to be inlcuded in Peruvian toilets).
A towel (not included with accommodation).
Bathing suit for the oasis on day 2 and hot springs on day 3.
Oral re hydration sachets (essential).

Remember;
There are no car roads in or out of the canyon so once you start your trek there are only two options to get out. 1 keeping walking. 2 a taxi mule for 60 soles. I had the 'life experience' of the taxi mule as I was overcome with altitude sickness and couldn't complete the last day. The people were fantastic but all I will say about it is that the Bolivian death road has nothing on the taxi mule out of the colca canyon!

Hope this was a help!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank bluelillydee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great scenary”
Reviewed October 18, 2012

long trip on the mini bus but worth it when you see the condors.At first we only saw 2 -3 birds and felt disappointed.But soon it became lively and spent nearly an hour just watching the birds fly by overhead.The atmosphere was great.

Visited September 2012
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Thank VinT999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mexico City, Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
286 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 213 helpful votes
“Very good but:”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

Great countryside, you definitely see condors (if you come at the right time), but beware of two things:
1. The altitude is high and many people get sick. Even fit young people.
2. The entrance fee went up 100% since last year, used to be 35, now its 70 soles. I personally think it is an abuse from the local government. It is ok that the fee goes up, but this is too much and there is comparable if not nicer countryside in the Sacred valley around Cuzco.

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
Thank iliveinmexico
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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